Could BC AD search lead to Miami (Ohio)?

The search for a new athletic director at Boston College is expected to speed up in the next several days as BC VP Leo Sullivan moves toward getting a successor to Gene DeFilippo in place by October 1.While there is no “leading” candidate at this time, Sullivan–who is receiving imput on the candidates list, but not the decision-making process, from DeFilippo–has narrowed the choice of viable candidates.

Finding a “fit”’ for the BC mission remains a priority, with fund-raising and a familiarity with running a BCS football program regarded as pre-requisites for the job.

Army Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan remains a viable candidate because of his youth,  fund-raising ability and pedigree which includes Duke, Notre Dame, Florida State both the Army and Navy.

The question whether Corrigan would leave Army after less than two years on the job remains.

ADs with a strong academic background  in their pedigree is also high on the list, which is why sources at BC have mentioned the possibility of Miami (Ohio)  athletic director Brad  Bates, whose background includes playing football at Michigan for legendary coach Bo Schembechler and working at Vanderbilt (strong academic, athletic profile) where DeFilippo once worked, although not at the same time as Bates.

As we have done with other possible candidates, we looked at the profile of Bates provided in the Miami media guide. 

A  progressive and driving force behind Miami University’s athletic department since his arrival in November of 2002, Brad Bates has been instrumental in not only upholding Miami’s athletic tradition but also in ushering Miami athletics into the next generation of intercollegiate athletics. Bates’ unique vision of developing a Culture of Champions at Miami has made the RedHawk athletic program a model for all intercollegiate athletic programs. During the summer of 2011, Miami University met all the requirements for recertification as a member of Division I.

In 2011-12, Bates served as president of the 1A Athletic Directors Association.

Over the past 10 years, Bates has presided over a department that made back-to-back football bowl game appearances for the first time in nearly 30 years, while capturing conference championships in football, women’s cross country, ice hockey, baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, field hockey, soccer, tennis, softball and synchronized skating.

Miami has won the Reese Trophy and the Jacoby Trophy, all-sport awards presented annually to the MAC institution with the best all-around men’s and women’s sports programs.

In addition to the RedHawks’ athletic success during his tenure, Bates has spearheaded efforts to improve the “athletic classrooms” in which Miami’s student-athletes compete to rate among the best in the nation. Renovations to Yager Stadium continue, with plans for an indoor facility in the works. Already added to Yager are new stands on the east side, a state-of-the-art scoreboard, permanent lighting, the Cradle of Coaches Plaza and a FieldTurf playing surface.

Additionally, Miami unveiled several new and renovated facilities six years ago: a brand new softball field, a state-of-the-art ice hockey facility, and a renovated field hockey field that was upgraded with a new artificial turf surface and press box.

According to the 2011 Graduation Success Rate calculation, Miami’s student-athletes’ overall GSR is 89 percent, nine percent higher than the national rate. RedHawk female student-athletes combined for a nearly perfect GSR of 97 percent, while male student-athletes graded out at a highly respectable 83 percent. The GSR of seven different RedHawk teams–women’s swimming (100%), women’s basketball (100%), soccer (100%), softball (100%) and volleyball (100%), men’s swimming and diving (96%) and football (86%)–rank at the top or tied for best among Mid-American Conference institutions. Other impressive rates were achieved by Miami field hockey (94%), women’s cross country and track and field (92%), men’s golf (89%), women’s tennis (88%), men’s cross country and track and field (84%) and men’s basketball (82%). A six-year history of Miami University’s graduate success rate shows that the general student body has remained steady at 94 percent for that period, just five percent higher than Miami’s student-athletes. Miami’s entire student body ranks among the upper echelon of the nation’s public institutions of higher learning.

Bates, who came to Miami after 17 years at Vanderbilt University, achieved a doctorate in education at Vanderbilt in 1997. This followed the bachelor’s and master’s degrees he earned in education at the University of Michigan in 1981 and 1982. At Vanderbilt, along with overseeing the administration of all 15 sports, Bates, a Senior Associate A.D. when he departed, was highly involved in the department’s budgetary, marketing, development, licensing and Title IX compliance decision-making.

Athletically, Bates was a walk-on defensive back for Michigan from 1977-81. He played for then-Wolverine head football coach Bo Schembechler, a 1951 Miami alumnus and member of Miami’s legendary Cradle of Coaches. In his four years as a player, the Wolverines won three Big Ten Championships, posted a record of 37-11-0 and played in three Rose Bowls and a Gator Bowl.

Bates and his wife, Michele, reside in Oxford.

The Bates File

Education High School: Port Huron (Mich.), 1977 College: Michigan, 1981 (education) Masters: Michigan, 1982 (education) Doctorate: Vanderbilt, 1998 (education)


1981-82 Graduate Assistant Michigan
1982-85 Head Strength Coach Colorado
1985-89 Head Strength Coach Vanderbilt
1989-95 Asst. AD Student Life/Interim AD for Compliance (1994) Vanderbilt
1995-96 Associate AD for Internal Operations Vanderbilt
1996-98 Associate AD for Revenue Sports and Internal Operations Vanderbilt
1998-02 Senior Associate AD Vanderbilt
2002-present Director of Athletics Miami University

Notes of Interest

  • Played for the football team at the University of Michigan under Miami University legend Bo Schembechler.
  • Twice during his tenure at Vanderbilt, the football program earned the American Football Coaches Association award for the highest graduation rate in college football.
  • Helped negotiate Vanderbilt’s rights contract with the Tennessee Titans for the 1998 season.

Leadership ability, a background which includes both Vanderbilt and Michigan all would draw attention in a BC search.

Coincidently, DeFilippo’s background also includes a stay at Vanderbilt, although Bates arrived at Vandy, a year after DeFilippo left to become the Director of Athletics at the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg.


© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *